Green Living, News, World Problems

New kind of plastic recycles itself when exposed to UV light

plastic uv light

In 2012, the United States generated almost 14 million tons of plastics as containers and packaging, about 11 million tons as durable goods such as appliances, and almost 7 million tons as nondurable goods, such as plates and cups. Compared to the 1960s, when plastics were less than one percent of the waste stream, this ubiquitous class of materials has now…

Biology, Environmental Issues, News, World Problems

Virus might be causing a Horrible Disease that turns Starfish into paste

Credit: Vancouver Aquarium

Since June, 2013 swarms of dying starfish have been riddling the North American western coast. The disease, called  sea star wasting syndrome (SSWS), causes the star-shaped echinoderms to first curl from the tips, then swell and twist like a pretzel, followed by festering sores appearing on the flesh and ending in complete degeneration. A starfish hit by SSWS is unrecognizable…

News, World Problems

Two bloody wars and 13 years later, the War on Terror has helped increase Terrorist Attacks Seven Fold

Image: Global Terrorism Index 2014

In response to the 9/11 terrorist attacks, the Bush administration launched a counter-offensive which went on to be known as the “War on Terror” and saw the US wage war in Afghanistan, Iraq, and most recently Syria. The WoT was initiated, in theory at least,  to eliminate the threat from al Qaida’s leader, Osama bin Laden, and as a long term…

Environmental Issues, News, Physics, World Problems

Twice as many lightnings expected by 2100 as a result of global warming

lightning

Researchers from the  Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory and the University of California, Berkeley, have devised a model that projects how climate change affects atmospheric lightning discharges. According to their findings, global warming – particularly through more water vapor gathering in the upper atmosphere – will cause lightning strikes to increase in frequency by 50% during this century. More warming and…

Environmental Issues, News, World Problems

Forget Beijing – Delhi has the world’s filthiest air, by far

Children protect their faces from Delhi's smog. The WHO said Delhi had an average PM2.5 level of 153 – London's is a tenth of that. Photo: Hindustan Times/Getty

Owing to its mass deployment of coal burning plants and the  7.4 million cars that fill its roads, Delhi now proudly stands as the city with the filthiest air in the world, and it’s only getting worse. Many agencies have recently issued health warnings for New Delhi residents, including the most vulnerable such as the elderly and children. Worst air in…

Environment, Feature Post, News, Technology, World Problems

Robot Underwater Gliders show How Antarctic Ice is Melting

Oceanographers Liz Creed (Kongsberg, Inc.) and Andy Thompson (Caltech) run through a series of tests in preparation for the release of a Seaglider into the Weddell Sea in January 2012. (Credit: Alan Jamieson/Caltech)

Over ninety percent of all the world’s ice is in Antarctica, where it can run 4000-5000 meters deep. Yet, as a result of global warming, the ice sheet is melting at a rapid rate making it the most significant contributing factor to world sea level rise. It’s simple to throw in a label like global warming and be done with it,…

Environmental Issues, Green Living, News, World Problems

Fossil Fuel divestment movement gathers Momentum

Oxford University students march for the Fossil Free Future campaign in Oxford. Photograph: Ellen Gibson/Fossil Free Future

Ever more municipalities and universities have joined the call to divest fossil fuel, thus reinforcing the message that these institutions are unwilling to back financially an industry that is a potential threat to our very own existence. Örebro in Sweden, Boxtel in the Netherlands and Seattle in the USA are all part of a growing push for cities to pull their…

Environmental Issues, Feature Post, News, Renewable Energy, World Problems

Since 2003 Coal consumption has increased 9x faster than Wind energy and 40x than Solar

Credit: Flickr user mendhak

Some of us like to think that the energy needs of the future will be supplied by clean and renewable energy sources, but a recent report released by the Manhattan Institute for Policy Research leads us through the mist and shows a cruel reality: coal, the dominant energy source in the world today, will continue to be the prime fuel…

News, Science, World Problems

Not even World War III will stop Unsustainable Human Population Growth. The ‘Fix’ lies with Lowering Impact

world-population-day

Seriously – after making a complex cross-scenario examination, scientists found that given humanity’s current population growth momentum, not even WW3, a global pandemic or stringent fertility restraints  will be enough to keep the global population at sustainable levels. In light of these findings, Australian researchers at Univ. of Adelaide’s Environment Institute  conclude that lowering our environmental impact through mass scale recycling and shifting…

Health & Medicine, News, World Problems

More than 23,000 Ebola Cases in 2014, According to Estimates

A Doctors Without Borders health worker in protective clothing holds a child suspected of having Ebola in Paynesville, Liberia. Image: Getty

This year the world saw the worst Ebola outbreak on record with more reported cases than in all the past years combined. Much more. The latest update from the Center for Disease Control and Prevention reports 9,178 patients, of which 4546 have died. The actual number of people infected with Ebola is actually much larger, in part because the report…